I’m a yoga teacher, Ayurvedic practitioner and local juice bar/vegan café owner. As you can imagine, I hear a lot about what people are eating or not eating and why. Paleo, vegan, raw, cooked, 80/10/10, low carb, high protein…you name it, someone’s doing it. What I don’t hear a lot about is how absolutely down right gourmet delicious plant foods can be. That’s right, having a healthy diet chocked full of plant foods is not about limitation or denial, it’s about enjoying the bounty Mother Earth has to offer in the most creative, sustainable, and celebratory way.
Adhering to a totally plant based diet isn’t necessary to embark on the endless journey that the plant world has to offer the curious palate.
I’m in LA as I write this. If you have been fortunate enough to experience the food scene here in California, then you know that plant food has been elevated to a “cuisine”. No longer simply relegated to the hippie café or the ubiquitous sprout filled health food store sandwich, the humble veggie has taken center stage and become the star of the show in countless restaurants including “celebrity” chef flagship establishments like Matthew Kenney’s M.A.K.E. in Santa Monica and Crossroads in West Hollywood by Tal Ronnen. Today our lunch was a Mexican feast at the lovely new all vegan Gracias Madre (sister eatery to Café Gratitude). We had a totally satisfying, utterly delicious Mexican meal that had no meat or cheese… with no need for an afternoon nap!
Rethinking our sometimes limited view of plant food preparation can inspire all sorts of healthy (food) relationships. Kale becomes the entreé, nuts become milk and cheese, seaweed and coconut transform into decadent desserts. Who knew?
No need to abandon your food preferences or dietary convictions. But try exploring the innovative forms and flavors that plant foods can add to your diet. Going out for “raw” or “vegan” is an exciting way to savor the gifts of the plant world as well as the endless talents pushing the creative envelope in this newly mainstream food genre.
Eating your greens isn’t just good for you, it can be an adventure into the quickly evolving world of the modern plant food gourmet!